Business Support Organizations and Resources
Business Support Organizations and Resources
With over 800 businesses in Wheeling, the Village has a pro-business staff and has developed opportunities to help businesses succeed. The Village partners with numerous agencies to provide business support services to show Wheeling’s willingness to help our local economy thrive. Below is a comprehensive list of free or low-cost resources available to help business prosper in Wheeling (click on the organization’s name to access their respective website):
Government and Academic Organizations That Assist Businesses
US Small Business Administration (SBA) – Since 1953, the U.S. Department of Commerce contains an active business-service division to assist business organizations called the US Small Business Administration, also known as the SBA. The SBA is a unique federal government division as there are several offices located throughout Illinois that house the SBA called Small Business Development Centers. The closest office to Wheeling is at Harper Community College, located in Palatine. Harper College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has free services to businesses including online webinars. The SBA has created the U.S. SBA - IL Resource Guide for Small Business (PDF) to help entrepreneurs to launch their new business.
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is the lead state agency responsible for improving Illinois' competitiveness in the global economy. Guided by an innovative regional approach, DCEO administers a wide range of programs offer employee training assistance, low-interest loans for businesses, trade and exportation assistance and much more. Illinois DCEO partnered with the Village of Wheeling in the past which resulted in Richelieu Foods opening a facility in the Village. Richelieu Foods has done so well in Wheeling, they are expanding their current facility by another 25,000 SF.
For information about additional DCEO resources, please visit the following sites:
- Buy Illinois
- Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)
- Illinois Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
- State of Illinois Business Portal speaks on topics including: Starting a Business, Running a Business, Changing a Business, and Why Come to Illinois?
Cook County Bureau of Economic Development – Cook County’s economic development department is called the Bureau of Economic Development and this department is tasked with bringing new businesses to Cook County as well as retaining and expanding existing businesses through the strategic leveraging of resources and efficient professional management. The most proactive program that Cook County offers is the Property Tax Abatement Program. There are several classifications under this program that the businesses interested in Wheeling may qualify for, click here to learn more.
The Cook County Bureau of Economic Development offers other key programs and incentives including the Built 50/40 Loan Program which is a loan program for small businesses in suburban Cook County to help with expansion, site acquisition, capital improvements and other costs.
Other Resources from Cook County Include the Following:
- The Connect to Cook Website offers GIS and open data access to over 5,000 variables for demographic, consumer spending, business and traffic data from the ease of your PC or laptop, geared specifically to Cook County. The data can be analyzed in a geographic context that allows users to choose samples as granular as block groups, census tracts or ZIP Codes. Menus allow the information and datasets to be customized and displayed in a variety of ways.
- Council of Economic Advisors
- Chicago Metro Metal Consortium
- Metro Chicago Exports
- Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC)
- Planning for Progress
- Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
- Cook County Land Bank Authority
- Bureau Cook County Bureau of Economic Development Website and Blog
Harper College offers great programs to help with workforce needs. The Harper College Apprenticeship Program is a workforce development program that can be catered to a business’s specific needs. Harper College also offers other services and programs, such as English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
The Indian Trail Public Library District is located at 355 Schoenbeck Road, Wheeling, IL 60090 and the library offers services to our businesses located within Wheeling. For example, a business located in Wheeling can obtain a library card where a cardholder can access valuable databases and other business resources. To learn more about the library’s business services, call 847.459.4100, extension 312.
Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) is a great resource for manufacturers in Illinois that offers access to a hotline for technical questions and webinars to help companies get through challenging times.
District 214’s Career Pathways program provides students with a sequence of career-focused courses and access to early college credit, workplace learning experiences and industry credentials.
Resources from Local Utility Organizations
ComEd Energy Efficiency Programs - ComEd can help commercial and industrial businesses with their energy efficiency program. The main program they offer is a facility assessment where a ComEd representative tours your facility and conducts a free energy assessment. After their assessment is completed, they will then come back with a list of recommendations on how to increase the efficiency of the electrical and lighting systems throughout the building. ComEd even offers low-cost lighting upgrade options to help your business/facility save money and energy. Please click here to view ComEd’s Energy Efficiency Programs.
Non-Profit Business Organizations
The Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry represents Wheeling-area businesses and helps businesses successfully market products and services, provides resources to overcome business challenges, offers opportunities to connect businesses together, and plans community-wide events, such the Taste of the Town, golf outings, and job fairs.
SCORE Chicago – Imagine an organization that pairs business mentors who have successfully run organizations and businesses to help you and your business succeed, that is what SCORE Chicago is all about. SCORE Chicago is a non-profit organization that offers confidential business counseling throughout the Chicagoland area which is free or of little cost. Interested parties are encouraged to fill out an application on their website and a SCORE Chicago representative will pair the business owner with a business mentor based on the requested assistance.
Allies for Community Business (A4CB) is a nonprofit that provides the capital, coaching, and connections entrepreneurs need to grow businesses that create jobs and wealth in their communities. A4CB offers specific loans and grants, while also providing free one-on-one coaching. Visit https://a4cb.org/ to learn more.
Women's Business Development Center- Chicago (WBDC) offers direct assistance to business owners in Cook County including Access to Capital, Business Plan Composition, Marketing, and Human Resource Assistance. Given the size of Cook County, WBDC’s services are offered in-person and online, both in Spanish and English. WBDC is a unique organization as they offer assistance to business organizations that are majority owned by women to go through the Women Business Enterprise Certification Program. This certification may open up new business opportunities to companies that are WBE Certified. For more information, call 312.853.3477 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workforce Training and Employment Services
Visit the Illinois workNet website for program announcements and also find information for job seekers.
- Find a job or change jobs
- Plan for your career and job search
- Connect to work support services
- Contact career advisors for assistance
- Help for Laid Off Workers
- File for Unemployment Insurance
- Search for talent
- Find training resources
- Locate information and resources for managing your business
- Connect with business service representatives
The Career Resource Center is a nonprofit organization that provides professional assistance to individuals in employment transition - a unique service that would otherwise be lacking in the community and one that is delivered exclusively by a cadre of 110 plus volunteers.
As shown above, there are many resources available to a variety of business types and sizes. Feel free to call the Economic Development Staff if there are any general questions about this list of resources at 847-499-2605. Do note, this is a list of non-profit, utility or government organizations that offer an assortment of business services at free or no-cost to the participant. While the Village of Wheeling advertises these non-profit organizations and other government agencies, any prospective or current business owner shall vet each organization thoroughly prior to moving forward with any particular service or program.